|he pieces of political jigsaw created by GOI in connivance with some Kashmir-centric politicians and separatists of the Valley have started falling in place one by one. The end result of such a game of deceit can be disastrous for the country. Besides it will betray the trust of vast majority of Muslims of the Valley in particular and people of J&K State in general. This majority reposed full faith in the composite democratic processes of the country when they voted in massive numbers, braving bullets and boycott calls of the separatists against elections last year.
The pieces can be serialized in the following order:-
- First of all, a few months back, the Prime Minister of India sent an invite to the separatists of the Valley to talk on the Kashmir tangle.
- Immediately after that, the Home minister of India revealed that dialogue was on with the separatists in the form of “quiet diplomacy” to arrive at a unique solution for Kashmir.
- The news of withdrawal of troops from some areas of the Valley was confirmed by the Defense Minister of India.
- Justice Sagir Ahamad who was nominated Chairman of one of five Working Groups on Kashmir by the Prime Minister of India furnished his report on Autonomy and Article 370 of the Constitution to the Chief Minister of the State, who in turn submitted the same to the Prime Minister.
- Other Working Groups constituted to look into Security, Governance, Centre-State Relations and Economic Development presented reports to the Prime Minister direct.
- The statement of Mirwaiz of Kashmir Ummer Farooq some time back that China too is a stakeholder in Kashmir dispute was too synchronized with the broad pattern of the jigsaw that was unfolding.
- Of late, it has been revealed that track two talks with Pakistan for composite dialogue process which were frozen after Bombay terrorist attack of 26th November 2009 have already been resumed.
The need for the Prime Minister to invite the separatists yet again for the talks which they have subverted at several occasions in the past can not be gauged. Moreover, it was not politically wise to talk to the small group of separatists of the Valley who have made the Valley and its vast majority of Muslims hostage to violence and terro,r over the heads of mainline political parties and peace loving people of the State. Such moves also undermine the constitutional validity and the role of duly constituted democratic government of the State. The miniscule group of separatists has no brief to negotiate on behalf of the majority of people of the State.
The Home Minister’s revelation though couched in his classy lingo that a process of dialogue for “quiet diplomacy” was on for a unique political solution is both intriguing and baffling. He owes to explain to the nation as to what is the hidden agenda of such quiet dialogue with the separatists. He also needs to explain as to what kind of out of the box solution of Kashmir tangle is up his sleeves, which will lead to a unique political solution of the issue.
The withdrawal of the troops from some parts of the Valley at this stage when there is an unusual spurt in the terrorist activities in the State is not a well thought move of our country. Is GOI thinking of handing over the fate of the peace loving Muslims of the Valley into the hands of messengers of death and destruction? Is it ready again to prompt and receive huge influx of Muslim from the Valley after Kashmiri Hindus were cleansed some two decades back? Is the GOI unable to fathom that violent pressure will be unleashed in the Valley when troops are fully removed?
The Prime Minister of India had announced five Working Groups in 2006 to go into different aspects of Kashmir tangle. The Group headed by Justice Sagir Ahamad was to go into the need of Autonomy and continuance and abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution, which grants special status to the State in the Union of India. Justice Sagir furnished his report which he submitted to the Chief Minster of the State unlike other Groups which have furnished their reports to the Prime Minister. Why Justice Sagir adopted an unusual route needs to be made public. Besides, his report has been rejected by the mainline national opposition BJP which had a representative on the Group, on the grounds that it lacks consensus. It was alleged by other members of the Group that the Group had not met during the last two and a half years and so the question of formulating a report did not arise. Justice Sagir needs to clear the doubts shrouding his report.
It would be helpful to discuss what he has suggested in his report. He has said that referendum on Article 370 for its continuance or abrogation should be left to the people. But he has not explained as to what he means by the people of the State. Does he mean the duly elected representatives of the State in its Legislative bodies? If he means that, he needs to remember that the Constituent Assembly of the State and subsequent Legislative Assemblies have already endorsed the continuance of the Article 370 a number of times. It would therefore be a waste of time and energies to repeat the exercise. If instead, he wants to grant this right to a miniscule group of separatists, the results can be well assumed. Regarding more autonomy to the State, he has received inputs from both National Conference and the PDP. National Conference demands greater autonomy which borders on full sovereignty for the State except in defense, communications and foreign affairs. This indeed is a reversion to the Dehli Agreement of 1952 which moderated relations between the State and the Centre then. Equally PDP is demanding self rule which borders on independence for the State. Justice Sagir has suggested that both these demands can be considered by the Central Govt. It is rationally hoped that he is well aware of demands of the people of the State for greater integration into the national mainstream, which were ventilated from time to time in the past by their elected representatives in the Legislative bodies, on the basis of which more Central acts were extended to the state on specific request of the State Legislature. They were thus able to harvest greater benefits of democracy and development by the people of the State. It was only on such persistent demands of the people of the State that jurisdiction of Supreme Court and Election Commission of India was extended to the State some Years back. It speaks of no wisdom to revisit such issues which stand already settled by democratic processes formed into law. Laws which are made for the benefit of majority of the people can not be changed at the dictates of rouge elements who have taken Valley as a hostage to their acts of horror and terror.
The reports of other four Working Groups also stand submitted to the GOI. But these reports were furnished to the Prime Minister as should have been the case with the report of Justice Sagir.Why different modes of presentation of reports were adopted needs to be made clear. Was there a hidden agenda in this respect too?
It is for the first time that a leader from the State, and that too Mirwaiz Umar Farooq who is considered to be a moderate among the separatists, stated that China was a stakeholder in Kashmir. This, before planning his visit to Beijing This statement was unbelievable but intriguing also. He really means that China also needs to be included in the talks on Kashmir! China is in illegal occupation of more than 5000sq Kms area of State’s territory which has been gifted to it by Pakistan. Does Mirwaiz want to tell China to vacate the territory it has illegally usurped? On the contrary he seems to be wooing China to embarrass India because of late, China has started to hobnob clandestinely with Pakistan to engineer reduction of pressure on Pakistani borders from Indian forces by making frequent incursions into Indian Territory. Does our Govt need any more proofs that Mirwaiz though painted as a moderate separatist is in connivance with enemies of India and therefore cannot be trusted to have any dialog with?
It is simply not known as to what has changed on the ground that has prompted GOI to allow resumption of track two dialogue with Pakistan. Pakistan has yet to prove that it is sincere in checking terrorist acts which are planned, sponsored, organized and funded in Pakistan. It has yet to start prosecution of the terrorists who were responsible for the havoc and mayhem in Bombay in November 2008 or repatriate other terrorists who are living in Pakistan but are facing heinous criminal charges in India. It has neither dismantled terrorist training centers still operative on its soil nor has it stopped to interfere in the internal affairs of J&K State. The latest glaring instance of its interference into the affairs of the State is the brief it has given to the Mirwaiz to not attend the talks with GOI. It is after that he stated that such talks would fulfill no purpose without the participation of Pakistan.
Before the nation is foisted with a fact accompli on the resolution of Kashmir imbroglio, it would be expected of GOI to open the mystery that it has created in connivance with the separatists. Only some leaks have trickled out from time to time. The Indian nation has a right to know the covert and overt pressures under which the present Govt. seems to have succumbed to reopen such issues that were well settled when special status was granted to the State through Article 370. This provides sufficient insulation to the State to preserve its demographic character of Muslim majority Kashmir, Budhist majority Ladakh and Dogra majority Jammu. Then also are the demands of the ousted Kashmiri Hindus for their representative Panun Kashmir.
By resurrecting the phantoms which General Mushraff of Pakistan created through his four point formula on Kashmir resolution, GOI seems to have relented before the international community to placate Pakistan. It would be at our own peril to ignore the fatal fallout of such moves which are likely to ignite further the Bodos in Assam, Gurkhas in West Bengal, Khalistanis in Punjab, Eelam in Tamil Nadu, Telengana in Andhra and Naxals in more than 50% districts of the country. Such consequences can be disastrous for the country which has yet to learn to cope with the fissiparous tendencies of some elements which are in cahoots with its enemies. If the Govt is still inclined to buy peace with Islamic separatists by writing off the state, it would be better to auction the Valley to the highest bidder as Britishers had done some 150 years ago under the treaty of Amritsar.
*P.N.Ganjoo was born in a modest Kashmiri family about 7 decades ago, lost his father early and was raised by his honest, hardworking mother. With her efforts he received his education in Srinagar and went on to serve in various Government Departments before retiring as a senior grade KAS officer.
Presently he is working on his varied interests besides being a consulting Director of a software services company.
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